Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot #2) by Christine Amsden

Published: November 15th, 2013


Cassie Scot, still stinging from her parents' betrayal, wants out of the magical world. But it isn't letting her go. Her family is falling apart and despite everything, it looks like she may be the only one who can save them.

To complicate matters, Cassie owes Evan her life, making it difficult for her to deny him anything he really wants. And he wants her. Sparks fly when they team up to find two girls missing from summer camp, but long-buried secrets may ruin their hopes for happiness. Book 2 in the Cassie Scot Mystery series.

"Christine Amsden unleashes her brilliant storytelling magic as the adventures of Cassie Scot escalate to the extreme. Rife with betrayal and a debt too deep for money to clear, Secrets and Lies plunges the reader into an utterly believable world where villains and heroes spring lifelike from the pages. Brace for a whirlwind ride of sorcery, romance and knife-edge peril. A truly original urban fantasy. Not to be missed!" –Kim Falconer, bestselling author of The Spell of Rosette, Quantum Enchantment Series.

Thank you, Mrs. Christine Amsden 
What are the advantages (and/or disadvantages) being a writer in our times?

1. The backspace key (and generally the fact that you can make in-line corrections at will).
2.The Internet (for research).
3. E-mail (for rejection letters that can come within minutes as opposed to months).
4. Social media (for connecting with fans and followers).
5. Ebooks make reading even accessible to the masses than the priting press ever did.

1. Competition (because writing is so easy these days, a lot of people are doing it).
2. Social media is also a distraction!
3. Public, anonymous reviews has led to some bullying behavior on the part of both reviewers and authors.
4. It is very difficult for authors to earn money for their work.

Werewolves, vampires, witches – what it takes to make them “work” for you in an original way?
Honestly, my books aren't really about vampires or werewolves or supernatural creatures. Yes, these creatures appear in the stories, but they're just part of the urban fantasy backdrop. My story is about Cassie Scot, the only ungifted girl in a family of powerful sorcerers. The magic doesn't matter. The creatures don't matter. The people matter, especially Cassie.

A Goodreads reviewer classified Evan – Cassie relationship as “hot and cold romance”. How do you built such romance and what are the most challenging of its elements?
Building romance takes a lot of patience and forethought! I've been reading tons of romance over the past few years to observe how it's done – when it works and when it doesn't. In a series like this, you have the added difficulty of keeping the tension high over four books. I mean, why don't they just get together already? I am pleased to say that almost nobody feels this way about Cassie and Evan. I don't want to spoil things for you, but Secrets and Lies is a turning point and I expect the end to leave the romance fans gasping for breath.

One thing that's important to me is that the romance not be a “quest for the three magic words.” I'm a firm believer that “I love you” is just a thing people say. Love is a verb, you have to show it. For that reason I did not hesitate to use these words in Secrets and Lies, but I hope the reader sees that this does not instantly equal “happily ever after.”

Do you let your story line to be influenced by the readers' feelings for a character? What it takes for you to abruptly change the story?
I had the entire Cassie Scot series finished before the first book came out, so there really was no way for me to let the reader's feeling influence me. To tell you the truth, I'm glad of it. There have been one or two things I've read (usually positive things, but different ways of looking at the story or characters) that might have made me stray from the path. But I think my overall story will be stronger for staying true to my original goals.

Readers’ opinions are divided regarding cliffhangers. What is your opinion, as a writer, about them?
As a writer I find them thrilling. The “Oh my God I need the next book!” reactions always make me smile a little mischievously.

I also love series like this as a reader because I get to spend more time with characters I love. I did design this series to be exactly the sort of thing I would go for – four books so it's not too long, but enough books that I get to spend real time with an amazing character (or group of characters) and get to see them develop, grow, and conquer new obstacles.

I will confess, though I probably shouldn't, that as much as I like these types of series I do prefer to wait until all the books are out to begin reading. Having said that, Mind Games will be out in April and Stolen Dreams, the last book in the Cassie Scot series, will be out this summer. So this is a perfectly good time to begin reading this series!

Thank you so much for having me here today, and for asking such interesting, insightful questions!
About the author:
Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.


Unknown said...

The book sounds interesting!

Christine Amsden said...

Thank you so much for hosting this interview! Sorry I didn't swing by yesterday -- network failure! My website was also down for the count (in case anyone tried to click over and it didn't work -- we've resuscitated it!)

Joseph Hawkshaw said...

Love the cover book looks like a very good read will have to go check it out very soon.

CCAM said...

The series sounds interesting and author's answers increase my curiosity. A new item for the TBR short list